“Iron Man” is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, which means it’s been a decade since the Marvel Cinematic Universe first launched with Robert Downey Jr. stepping into the billionaire shoes of Tony Stark. Summer 2008 was a milestone year for superhero cinema with “Iron Man” and Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight,” but a third superhero movie opened in between those two titles: “The Incredible Hulk.”
Directed by Louis Leterrier and starring Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, “The Incredible Hulk” was the second entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unlike “Iron Man,” however, the release was met with poor reviews and lackluster box office returns. Norton famously fought producers behind the scenes for script and editing changes both during and after production, so much so that he was removed from the role and replaced by Mark Ruffalo in the MCU. Ten years later, Norton is still roasting his ill-fated superhero movie.
During his appearance at “Comedy Central’s Roast of Bruce Willis,” Norton took some time out of his set to make some digs at “The Incredible Hulk.”
“I tried to be like you,” Norton told Willis. “I did a big action movie called ‘The Incredible Hulk.’ You know what went wrong? I wanted a better script…I thought we should make one Marvel movie as good as the worst Christopher Nolan movie, but what the hell was I thinking.”
Making a dig at Marvel by comparing the superhero films to Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy earned laughs from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also appeared at the Willis roast and starred in Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” Norton may have missed out on the success of the MCU, but he did at least join the Wes Anderson universe with appearances in “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and “Isle of Dogs.”
Norton is currently working on his his latest directorial outing, “Motherless Brooklyn,” which he also wrote and stars in. The film is eyeing a 2019 release.